PM lauds NCOC, SBP, Ehsaas for effective response to Covid pandemic

UK-based magazine ranks Pakistan third in list of well-performing nations in controlling coronavirus spread


Our Correspondent July 07, 2021
Prime Minister Imran Khan. PHOTO: RADIO PAKISTAN

ISLAMABAD:

Prime Minister Imran Khan commended the performance of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and the Ehsaas team for their effective and coordinated response during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The prime minister took to the microblogging website Twitter, to appreciate the performance of the three departments, who had been recognised by the prestigious UK-based The Economist in its report on the global pandemic.

“Congratulations to NCOC members, Ehsaas team & State Bank of Pakistan for effective response to COVID-19 pandemic; and above all thanks to the mercy of Almighty Allah,” the prime minister tweeted, sharing charts from the The Economist magazine.

In its Global Normalcy Index, the magazine had ranked Pakistan at No 3 out of 50 countries that performed well in controlling the Covid-19 spread. According to the report, India ranked 48th, while China took 19th spot. The United States stood at 20th in the ranking.

The index focused on how better the countries were returning to their pre-pandemic levels, by grading each country using eight indicators: Time not at home, retail, office use, public transport, road traffic, flights, cinema, and sports attendance.

Minerals, gems sector

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran chaired a meeting of gems, jewellery and minerals task force on Wednesday and reviewed the process of restructuring of the sector and the recommendations over the proposed mineral city.

Read Covid curbs may return if SOPs violated, warns NCOC

Imran said that the government was transforming the traditional techniques in minerals and gems sector by introducing the latest technology and for the first time in 74 years of the country’s history, this sector was being restructured into an export industry.

The meeting was attended by Industries Minister Khusru Bakhtiar, Special Assistant to Prime Minister Dr Shabaz Gill, Gems and Jewellery Task Force Chairman Engr Gul Asghar Khan, members of the task force and the officials concerned.

The prime minister was apprised that Pakistan had the capacity to export precious gems worth $5 billion annually, which would have the positive i9mpact on the national economy, besides generating huge employment opportunities.

Pakistan is eighth largest producer of gems and minerals in world. The country possesses reserves of about 99 different precious stones. Besides, according to an estimate, the country consumes 200 tons of gold annually.

The meeting was informed that through effective legislation and better arrangements, this sector could be turned into one of the biggest industries. The meeting was also informed that the gems and jewellery had been given the status of industry.

Imran directed that all resources should be used by framing a regular schedule for implementation of mechanism, besides removal of bottlenecks for the investors. To increase exports, support from Pakistan’s embassies and missions abroad should be sought for its promotion abroad, he added.

Moreover, gems and jewellery city would be established to bring all resources at one place, ensure resolution of issues through one window operation and provision of facilities to the investors.

The meeting was also given a briefing on the establishment of the mineral city. For this purpose, area had been identified for setting up chemical and mineral industry. With the industrial value-addition from raw minerals, imports would be reduced and exports be enhanced, the meeting heard.

(WITH INPUT FROM APP)

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